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Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases$
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Jerome O. Nriagu and Eric P. Skaar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029193

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.001.0001

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The Promise of Nanometals

The Promise of Nanometals

Reducing Infection and Increasing Biocompatibility

Chapter:
(p.257) 16 The Promise of Nanometals
Source:
Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases
Author(s):

Mian Wang

Wenwen Liu

Thomas J. Webster

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.003.0016

Conventional metals (e.g., titanium, cobalt-chromium alloys, stainless steel, etc., with micron particulates or micron grain sizes) have a long history of successful use in the body despite the fact that they are non-biodegradable (i.e., they persist in the body for the rest of a patient’s lifetime). This could cause a continual inflammatory response and lead to health problems associated with metal compounds or metal ions, especially if such chemistries become separated in particulate form from the bulk metal during use. Recently, research groups have introduced a new classification of metals with nanoscale particulate or grain sizes to decrease traditional metal toxicity, eliminate infection without using antibiotics, reduce inflammation, kill cancer cells, and increase tissue growth. Findings are presented with a mechanistic understanding of how cells recognize and respond favorably to nanomaterials. In contrast to the damage that heavy metals can cause in the body, current innovative approaches use heavy metals formulated at the nanoscale to fight health problems. This chapter summarizes the difficulties associated with the use of metals in the body and discusses how they can potentially be overcome through the use of metallic nanomaterials.

Keywords:   nanomaterials, infection, orthopedic implants, dental implants, inflammation, metallic nanomaterials

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